Old MySpace Accounts Are Being Commandeered Thanks to Leaky Security

MySpace has been essentially defunct for the better part of a decade, but unless you've taken the time to delete your account, it's still there. If you're a little bit more unlucky, it might even be active - being used by somebody else. A gaping hole in account security has opened up the way for people to easily take over the accounts of others, to the point where inactive users (ie almost everyone) are being urged to delete their accounts permanently.

If you try and access your MySpace account now, you may well find that you can't remember your password, or even the email address you used to sign up. MySpace clearly took this into consideration, so they implemented a recovery system which only requires three things: a full name, username and date of birth. It's a pretty safe bet that, for many, that information exists somewhere else online.

The odds are that you don't have any truly sensitive information stored on your MySpace, but there are still ways that people could use it nefariously. There's a market for them, and last year the details of some 360 million accounts were shared. The same thing has happened on Tumblr and LinkedIn in the past, to the point where the phenomenon even has its own scary-sounding name - a 'historical mega-breach'.

This is a huge oversight on MySpace's part, especially considering that they brought the recovery system in precisely because a lot of people were trying to regain access to their old accounts, presumably for nostalgic purposes. MySpace was put up for sale in 2011 after a few years of tumultuous ownership by News Corporation. They were subsequently bought by Time Inc, and until now things had been relatively quiet, with the site being gradually redesigned into a music platform.

This is the most news coverage the site has had since then, and it has the potential to damage their reputation even further. MySpace have pledged to improve the system, but it probably won't do much to salvage the PR nightmare that this has become.

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